This bridge was originally built by the Erie Railroad and was once part of the Newark Branch. It is a bascule bridge, also known as a jackknife bridge, originally built in 1922. It spanned the Passaic River between Harrison/Kearny and Newark. But this structure is probably better known for its role in a pivotal scene in the 1982 movie musical Annie.
Harrison used to be an impressively industrial town, once called the “beehive of industry.” The bridge was primarily used for freight. Though Harrison still has a PATH station that connects it to New York City, there are plenty of old partially hidden railroad lines from the industrial days.
This particular station was originally built as a double-track structure. After commuter service ended it was converted to a single track, then shut down in 1977. The drawbridge was left in the open position.
In 1982, the bridge was used as a filming location for a scene at the end of Annie. The titular redheaded orphan climbs a drawbridge while trying to escape a couple of con artists posing as her parents in order to get a reward. The scene was partially filmed at the New Jersey bridge, and partially at a soundstage in California.
Since its appearance in that famous scene, locals refer to it as “Annie’s Bridge.” In fact, most probably do not know the actual name: NX Bridge. It is considered trespassing to get close to it, however, that does not stop many youths in the area from not only getting close to the bridge but also climbing it. Every now and then you can find a flag of some sort hanging there, until it gets taken down.
Know Before You Go
It is illegal to climb it!